The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Hill of Health

Round Barrow(s)

<b>Hill of Health</b>Posted by ruskusImage © ruskus
Nearest Town:Bury St Edmunds (7km SSE)
OS Ref (GB):   TL836713 / Sheets: 144, 155
Latitude:52° 18' 31.01" N
Longitude:   0° 41' 36.54" E

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Hill of Health</b>Posted by ruskus <b>Hill of Health</b>Posted by ruskus


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A decade ago, whilst doing a 10 week archaeology evening course at the local college, we came to this barrow one evening.

I remember it's near some properties, but I'd forgotten that it sits at the bottom of someone's actual garden (although sloping upwards from house to hill). The mound and house sit next to a byway, so approach is easy.

As the owner was busy in the garden, I thought I'd ask if he minded me observing/taking pictures. After a few polite queries about why I was interested we struck up conversation about the barrow's history. I think he had to check out that I wasn't some 'treasure hunter', as he said nothing of value was in it - which struck me as kinda sad to have to worry that I might be up to no good (I'd have done the same, but....). Said I was welcome to see it closer. (unfortunately a few panoramic shots didn't work on my cheap old camera, but got a couple, so...).

Anyway, nice guy, and a brilliant barrow; quite enigmatic in it's current location, with the trees adding to the drama somehow.

Wish I had one in my garden.....better than fairies....
Posted by ruskus
19th April 2013ce


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Ah, the Hill of Health. You can just imagine sitting on this barrow, breathing in the fresh air. Or is that really what it means? T C Lethbridge, in his 1956 article "The Wandlebury Giants", suggests that the name actually comes from 'Hill of Helith' - Helith being another name for Baal / Gog, and relating to sun worship - and maybe he was right.

But you'd imagine there must be some local folklore to explain such a name? The 'Hidden East Anglia' website says the sometime owners of the house in whose garden the mound stands said 'Saxons were buried there', and also that Lethbridge heard a local legend about a Dane skinning a shepherd boy there. Neither of which sound very healthy.

The barrow is immediately east of a track that the Magic SMR record describes as a route of the Icknield Way. Although it has a dent in where antiquarians dug into it long ago, it is still quite intact and stands 2.7m high.

The Wandlebury Giants
T. C. Lethbridge
Folklore, Vol. 67, No. 4. (Dec., 1956), pp. 193-203.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th November 2006ce